Friday, November 27, 2009

Duncan Cameron McCrea's $100,000.00 Estate

Who was Ida Coombe, Ex-Prosecutor McCrea's niece, who inherited his $100,000.00 estate in 1951? I knew that McCrea was my grandmother's cousin; I even knew three of his sisters (Adelia, Ellen and Jessie) quite well. Duncan Cameron McCrea was only known to me by reputation, since he died a year before I was born.

From the Herald Press, St. Joseph, MI, June 8, 1951


Detroit—June---A Pontiac housewife was disclosed today to be principal beneficiary of this probate of more than $100,000.00 left by former Prosecutor Duncan McCrea, who died May 25th.

She is Mrs. Iva M. Coombe, of Pontiac, wife of Raymond Coombe, who is a general foreman at General Motors plant in Pontiac. She was a niece of McCrea.

Donald Munro, Ontonagon prosecutor and a nephew of McCrea*, said no positive revelations had been found thus far as the large upper penninsula lumber holdings which the former prosecutor was said to have held.

Munro, special administrator of the estate, said records of the lumber holdings may be in Mio the little community to which the former prosecutor had planned to retire.

*Donald L. Munro, b. ca 1918, was the son of Lionel & Sarah (McCrea) Munro. Sarah was Duncan McCrea's sister.

In the 1910 Census taken in Roscommon Co., Michigan, Duncan McCrea was the head of household and there was a cousin, Maggie Cameron, living with him. Who was Maggie? Was she related somehow to Ida Coombe?

1910 MI Census - Roscommon Co., Higgins Twp., Roscommon Village

MCCREA, Duncan C., head, m/w, 25, single, MI Can Can, Foreman, Lumber Camp
, Adelia, sister, f/w/30, MI Teacher
, Ellen, sister, 27, Teacher
, Mary, sister, 21, Teacher
, Jessie, sister, 19, Teacher
CAMERON, Maggie, cousin, 19, single, Teacher MI MI Can

I still haven't identified "Maggie Cameron," who most certainly is one of "my" Camerons.

Ida Coombe, was Ida Mahar, daughter of James & Myrtle (Whitney) Mahar. Myrtle was the sister of Nettie (Whitney) McCrea (1880 - 1949), Duncan Cameron McCrea's wife. Why did Ida inherit the bulk of the estate? Four of Duncan's siblings (the three sisters mentioned above as well as his brother James) were still living when he died (sisters Sarah and Mary predeceased him), so why wasn't one (or all) of them his heirs? My aunt thought that because of Duncan's notorious past, his money was tainted money, at least in the eyes of his sister Adelia, and she would have refused it if offered to her. Perhaps there was an estrangement that couldn't be breached.

Duncan McCrea was living with one of his Whitney brother-in-laws in Mio, Michigan, when he suffered his fatal heart attack, so perhaps it was fitting that his heir was from his wife's Whitney line rather than his McCrea/Cameron family.

Duncan Cameron McCrea, was the son of James B. & Isabelle (Cameron) McCrea; grandson of Duncan & Ellen (Cameron) Cameron.

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